Specialist insurance provider, Cliverton, talks about the implications of the American XL Bully dog legislation on boarding kennels and dog care services in England and Wales.

As of February 1, owning an XL Bully dog in England and Wales without a Certificate of Exemption becomes a criminal offence. Cliverton’s Associate Director, Lynne Fisher, provides insights into the measures businesses handling XL Bully dogs should take to comply with the new regulations.

Certificate of Exemption Requirements

Businesses dealing with XL Bully dogs are advised to obtain a copy of the Certificate of Exemption, along with the owner’s Public Liability insurance documents. These records may be crucial in case of claims involving the dog. The certificate attests that the owner is over 16, has microchipped and neutered the dog, and maintains secure containment to prevent escapes.

The legislation mandates that XL Bully dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public, applicable to both owners and caretakers. Boarding kennels face additional requirements, necessitating Specially Controlled Dogs cover. This condition dictates that such dogs must be isolated, preventing boarding or exercising with other dogs, even from the same household, if one is on the Dangerous Dogs list.

Structural Recommendations for Isolation

To fulfil the isolation condition, Cliverton recommends a unit with a solid wall separation, ensuring the dog in isolation cannot access or see other dogs in adjacent units. The Specially Controlled Dogs Condition further mandates that the dog remains on a lead and muzzled when transitioning from its unit to another private, secured area.

While in a secure area inaccessible to the public, one dog can be exercised off lead and unmuzzled under the condition of a single handler. The designated area must strictly exclude other staff, dogs, or members of the public. Internal training by the kennel owner or an experienced handler is permissible, provided businesses can furnish a risk assessment and proof of training compliance in case of claims.

Ensuring Compliance and Mitigating Risks

Cliverton emphasizes the importance of businesses understanding and adhering to the Specially Controlled Dogs Condition. By obtaining the necessary certifications, maintaining secure facilities, and implementing proper exercise protocols, boarding kennels and dog care services can navigate the legislative changes while mitigating potential risks.

For more detailed information and compliance assistance, businesses are also encouraged to consult Cliverton and ensure the necessary measures are in place to safeguard against legal implications arising from the American XL Bully dog legislation.